I’ve had numerous discussions with people who want to begin blogging, or begin blogging on a regular basis. They all seem to ask some of the same questions: 1) What do I blog about? 2) How long should my blogs be? 3) Where should I post my blogs? However, the one question that none of them seem to ask is “How important is editing my blog?”
In the world of publications-printed or online-the reputable sites (which are usually the main news sites) all have staff on board who proofread. It’s crucial. There is nothing worse to me than reading an article on a news site or in a newspaper where there are typos, run-on or incomplete sentences, or even questionable content. I immediately lose respect for the writer and/or publication and am appalled Sherry Dyson that they “put it out there” so-to-speak without taking the time to remedy such glaring errors. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. It does. But taking a few minutes to peruse your content and actually read it as a reader would who was coming to your blog site, can save you from a less than stellar representation of yourself and your business.
Sometimes, when you’ve worked on a piece for any length of time, you simply stop seeing errors or typos. It is best to walk away for a short time and then return to reread the entry. Another issue that a colleague of mine had was that they sometimes found themselves writing about something they were passionate about, and in blurting out everything they could think of about this topic, they lost the real focus and needless to say, probably lost their reader in the process.
We have all picked up books and started them that just didn’t speak to us. I know I’m an avid reader and every now and then will find myself not getting into a book the way I normally do within the first few pages. In a lot of cases, it is the writing style. It may seem to be “all over the place” and may fail to keep me engaged by the lack of any real direction. I have to admit I quickly shelf the book.
Remember that nowadays, with the web, you need to realize that whatever you “put out there” can be read by anyone. It should be presented in a compelling way and entice your readers to want to stay awhile. If you offer content that holds value (such as tips and insights). Sharing experiences you have had with a business or product or during a trip can also be of value. And adding images most certainly will help to draw in readers and keep them focused on what you have to offer. Your blogs can contain relevant links to articles you have found useful and should definitely make your readers feel they have carried something of value away with them, even if it’s entertainment value. Your best bet is to write about what you know or are passionate about and write in the way that you would verbalize it to a friend or family member. In doing so, you present your true self and generally the content will be clear and to the point. And if you are at a loss for topics, by all means do not regenerate your old entries by wording the topic differently. Instead, take some time to read other blogs on popular blog sites just for topic ideas. Once you have an idea, you can share your personal opinion on that topic and it will be genuine and original since it is your own perception.
Lets face it. Very few of us who are blogging can afford to staff a proofreader. However, if you don’t feel comfortable trusting your own editing capabilities, don’t hesitate to engage a friend or co-worker or family member to assist you-especially in the beginning. By allowing them to take that every important “second look” at your entries, they may be able to offer some helpful criticisms or feedback that can turn your piece into exactly what you want representing your business.